Six Songs of Me

Dustbury did NOT insist I do this, so naturally, I did:

What was the first song you ever bought?

As I’ve noted, I belonged to the Capitol Record Club in 1965, where I was buying albums, so I’m hard pressed to figure out the first single. It may have been Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine; I was then depressed by the release of the Revolver album a short time later, yet puzzled by the variation between the single version and the album version of Yellow Sub, as I noted recently. But the more I think about it, my first single was probably Soul And Inspiration by the Righteous Brothers (listen), which came out a few months earlier in 1966, as I remember that blue Verve label.

What song always gets you dancing?

Cliche that it might be, but it’s Celebration by Kool and the Gang (listen). A short-lived romance got me dragged to a local disco a few times in the day. Recently bought a greatest hits album by that group.

What song takes you back to your childhood?

As Dustbury wrote, “There are those who would argue that I never left.” That said, I’ll pick another song from my father’s singles collection, Bird Dog by the Everly Brothers (listen), on Cadence Records. I discovered that women should be referred to as poultry (quail, chick) – something I fortunately unlearned quickly; and that men were canines – is that still true?

What is your perfect love song?

Forever I have been a sucker for I Only Have Eyes for You by the Flamingoes (listen). Always makes me a bit misty.

What song would you want at your funeral?

I have been, for a long time, of the opinion that almost any song could be done in chicken. Bold songs, such as the 1812 Overture or the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony are particularly great. But the first song I heard which stimulated this proposition was In the Mood by Henhouse Five Plus Two (listen), the “group” actually being singer Ray Stevens. I first heard it on one of those Warner Brothers Loss leaders of the 1970s.

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

At bare minimum, the chorus of Don’t let me be misunderstood by The Animals (listen). “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.” I think many of us feel that others don’t “get” us, and I certainly am not immune.
Both Mark Evanier and Dustbury are supporting the Kickstarter effort for Big Daddy’s Smashing Songs of Stage and Screen. I third that emotion.

0 thoughts on “Six Songs of Me”

  1. Roger!! Chicken In The Mood! Bwack-bwack-bwack-bwack… Didn’t know Ray Stevens was in on that, but not surprised. Didn’t know there were alternate versions of the Beatles tunes, but many times there was a “single” version and an album version, freer with the space. Used to torque me that the Brit albums always had two more cuts, so it was years before I learned “Dr. Robert,” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” and some other good ones.

    Have you heard the Yusef Islam (AKA Cat Stevens) version of “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”? After the hoopla about his new Islamic identity and brief blessing of the fatwa on Salman Rushdie (later recanted and apologized for), he has made some excellent music. Try this live cut. I’ll email you the studio version. Peace, Amy


    1. Amy – obviously you never bought Yesterday and Today, a bastardized album that came out between Rubber Soul and Revolver in the US that contained (he cites from memory) 2 songs from UK Help, 4 songs from UK Rubber Soul, and three songs from the UK Revolver. I bought it at the Rexall for $2.99. Most of the US albums had 11 songs (except Meet, RS, and the soundtracks that had instrumentals, which had 12) and the UK albums 14 (except a Hard Day’s Night, which had only 13. Read about Yesterday and Today:


  2. I mention in passing that my own copy of Yesterday and Today was a Capitol Record Club issue. First LP I got from them, in fact, was Something New, another hacked-together Beatles release that contained eight tracks from A Hard Day’s Night, the “Slow Down”/”Matchbox” single, and a German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”


    1. Chaz – When all my early Beatles albums got stolen from my grandmother’s house, Something New survived> Sometime you’ll have to explain why certain HDN songs were on both Capitol and UA, but three weren’t, the two on the Beatles Again/Hey Jude, and the title track, which I never owned until after the Beatles broke up and I finally bought the soundtrack.


  3. So far as I can tell, UA had the rights to the soundtrack album, while Capitol retained the right to issue singles, though this plan obviously had holes in it, since both “If I Fell” and “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You” appeared on both the UA and Capitol albums — and Capitol snuck “I’m Happy…” out on the B-side of the “I’ll Cry Instead” single.

    One of Allen Klein’s priorities after taking over Beatles management was to get non-LP singles on to an album, which explains the Hey Jude compilation. (I do not know whether UA’s license for those tracks had expired by 1969, though five years seems a reasonable term for that license.) And anyway, UA’s record division was eventually absorbed by EMI, making the matter moot.


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